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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Ecology and Characterization of Influenza a and Newcastle Disease Viruses from Wild Birds and Poultry in Eastern Siberia
2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Expand area of AI/NDV surveillance from Novosibirsk region to the Eastern Siberia. Collect and screen up to 600 samples monthly from poultry and wild birds. 2. Obtain valid data on dynamics of influenza and Newcastle Disease virus distribution in various avian groups. 3. Obtain valid data on infectivity and pathogenic properties of the different avian.influenza viral strains isolated by introducing them into wild bird models and poultry 4. Establish sample exchange between NSU and collaborative foreign institutions in accordance with the laws of both countries. 5. Share obtained data with international community via workshops, conference presentations and publications.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Under the proposed project, the team of trained virologists and ornithologists will be collecting cloacal and oropharyngeal swabs and serum samples from wild birds and poultry in Eastern Siberia. The samples will include wild migratory aquatic birds, nestling on the lakes and rivers as well as poultry samples (chicken, geese and ducklings) taken from the commercial poultry farms and back small village holdings. The obtained samples will be screened for Influenza viruses as well as Newcastle Disease viruses (NDV) and if influenza is found, they will be further subtyped as H5, H7, H9 and other subtypes. Screening of the samples will be performed at the Division of Emerging Zoonotic Diseases at Vector and the Department of Natural Science at Novosibirsk State University. Samples, identified as positive, will be investigated further with US collaborators and the obtained results shared with the international community.

Another important aspect of this project will involve the investigation of the molecular markers of pathogenicity as well as pathogenicity mechanisms for recently isolated HPAIV, using wild water birds and poultry as models. This will help to understand the behavior of the virus in its natural reservoirs, and it will highlight the role of migrating wild water birds and their role as long-distance vectors for virus transmission around the world.


3.Progress Report:

In FY13, ARS received regular technical and financial reports from Novosibirsk State University, reviewed by the ARS Lead Scientist. The following objectives of the project were completed:

-Expand area of AI/NDV surveillance from Novosibirsk region to the Eastern Siberia. Collect and screen up to 600 samples monthly from poultry and wild birds. A total of 3339 samples (cloacal swabs, feces) were collected from wild birds and poultry in Eastern Siberia. In total, 22 avian influenza viruses (AIVs) and 2 Newcastle disease viruses (NDVs) were detected and isolated. All but six of the AIVs were subtyped. All the isolated viruses were of low pathogenicity.

-Obtain valid data on dynamics of influenza and Newcastle Disease virus distribution in various avian groups. The samples were mainly collected from birds of the orders Anseriformes (34.2%), Charadriiformes (23.3%), and Passeriformes (21.9%). All the viruses were isolated from the samples of wild birds collected during fall season (teal, mallard, shoveler, pintail, and pochard).

-Obtain valid data on infectivity and pathogenic properties of the different avian influenza viral strains isolated by introducing them into wild bird models and poultry. This study showed that the influenza virus A/Common gull/Chany/2006 (H5N1) can cause lesions in common gulls that could result in a fatal outcome. Because the surviving gulls are able to excrete the HPAI until 25 days after infection, Common gulls (Larus canus) could serve as potential carriers of highly pathogenic avian influenza over long distances. The study is in progress, and more data is expected.

The project will be extended in FY14.


Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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